Shifting Baseline Syndrome by Aaron Kreuter

Aaron Kreuter addresses his take on shifting baseline syndrome in this cleverly written collection of poems. This is Kreuter’s second book of poems. His collection is broken into three sections Like Humidity, Just Another Name for Anthropocene and The Last River.

What is Shifting Baseline Syndrome?- One might wonder?  It’s the ongoing environmental degradation on a local, regional, and global scale.

In such poems as Spoilers, Maps and South Florida Kreuter shows us that shifting baseline syndrome is increasingly recognized as one of the fundamental obstacles to addressing a wide range of today’s global environmental issues. Yet our understanding of this phenomenon remains incomplete. Kreuter has suggested that there are several self-reinforcing feedback loops that allow the consequences of Shifting Baseline Syndrome to further accelerate the progressive environmental degradation. 

Such negative implications which are highlighted in this collection of poems show the urgent need to dedicate considerable effort to preventing and ultimately reversing Shifting Baseline Syndrome. This is made apparent in such poems as Eighteen Ways Of Looking At Magneto Destroying Auschwitz in X-Men: Apocalypse, Soaps, All We Care About Is The Series Finale But Series  Finals Are Always Terrible So Why Do We Continue To Care You Know Why It Is Because We All So Badly Want Something To Believe In and Final(e) Thoughts.

In these three poems, Kreuter references pop culture in movies and on television. With these negative feelings, we are unable to keep our eyes off such shows and movies through casual viewing and binging. This psychological and sociological phenomenon can be termed shifting baseline syndrome. 

This collection of poetry entertaining and definitely got the wheels turning in my head. 


Aaron Kreuter is the author of the short story collection You and Me, Belonging (2018) and the poetry collection Arguments for Lawn Chairs (2016). His writing has appeared in places such as Grain Magazine, The Puritan, The Temz Review, and The Rusty Toque. Kreuter lives in Toronto and is a postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University. Shifting Baseline Syndrome is his second book of poems.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ University of Regina Press (March 12 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 96 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 088977854X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0889778542

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Shawna is a mother and a retired athlete, coach and fitness professional. She currently works in the Beauty Industry with Drunk Elephant. In her spare time, she enjoy watching baseball, reading anything pertaining to sports, fashion, poetry and biographies. She likes to travel to anywhere warm and sunny. Shawna has a BBA from Mount Saint Vincent University and currently lives in Paradise, Newfoundland. New Instagram account @shawna.j.butler